Wilhelmine "Willie" Frisbie

September 25, 1934 - March 4, 2024


Wilhelmine “Willie” Doretta Frisbie died peacefully on March 4, 2024, at her daughter Kathy's home near Ranchester, Wyoming, at the age of 89.

Born on September 25, 1934, to Walter and Annie Marquardt in Waconia, Minnesota, Willie was the middle of nine children. On the family dairy farm, Willie’s life was full of hard work but was richly accompanied by music, laughter, spirited card games, and love. One of her most repeated childhood memories was helping her father milk the cows on cold Minnesota mornings and learning to drive the tractor. It was on the farm that many of Willie’s strongest attributes were formed: deep Christian faith, an unwavering work ethic, sense of humor, and devotion to family.

During her senior year in high school Willie pursued her interest in air flight by completing an airline correspondence course, regularly receiving and sending her assignments through the mail. After graduating from high school, Willie moved to Los Angeles to live with her Aunt Louise and went to work for Pan American Airlines. It was here that she met Dennis (Denny), a Montana boy who had enlisted in the Navy, when he “happened” to be invited to visit family friends living next door to Aunt Louise. She fondly remembered one of their first dates – dancing to Lawrence Welk at the Hollywood Bowl. They would marry in October, 1954 (just in time to make it back to Montana for hunting season on their honeymoon), and were together for almost60 years until Dennis passed away in 2013 at the age of eighty-one.

Willie’s adventures with Dennis included moving from one state to another as he completed his service in the Navy and then pursued his education and medical training. Along the way they managed to acquire a new child or horse in each location. None of these things would have been possible without Willie holding down the fort at home and  encouraging Dennis to pursue his passion for helping people, which required dedicating the long hours required by physicians. By the time they had five children, they had settled into their home in Sheridan, Wyoming, where they lived for 47 years. On their small acreage, Willie was surrounded by her family, her garden, and numerous friends.

Willie’s deep faith encompassed all aspects of her life, and she was devoted to her family, church, and community. With a love for learning and a gift for teaching and encouraging others, Willie regularly planned and led church prayer-chain workshops, Bible studies, and Sheridan's National Day of Prayer. Those who knew her loved and valued her friendship, for she always seemed to know when anyone needed a kind touch. She walked alongside Dennis as a prayer warrior and often offered wise counsel that made a difference in many people’s lives. Not surprisingly, her Thanksgiving table was surrounded by a variety of guests.


Our family will always look back fondly as we recall our time with Willie. She was an amazing mom, encouraging her children to work for what they wanted, earn and save, treat people fairly, forgive others, and have a plan – but listen to the Lord. We will always hear the family laughter that accompanied the lively games of “Spoons” that she loved (and regularly won). We will also remember her bountiful vegetable and flower gardens, her handmade matching dresses, and her elk ribs and freshly-caught trout meals. The children and grandchildren of Dennis and Willie will cherish the memories of horseback riding, along with camping, hiking and fishing in the Bighorn Mountains.


As Willie experienced a dementia journey the past few years, her sense of humor, positive attitude and concern for others remained intact. The words to what became her oft-sung theme song these past few years brought joy and accepting grace to all of us around her:  "Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que sera, sera."


The family is grateful for the care and friendships she made at Sugarland Ridge (Cascades at Sugarland Ridge) in Sheridan, WY; Arbor Glen Senior Living in Lake Elmo, MN; Sheridan Memorial Hospital; and Hospice of the Big Horns. We are especially thankful to Kathy and John Barker who lovingly cared for Willie in their home in her last months.


Willie was preceded in death by her loving husband, Dr. Dennis Frisbie; her parents Walter and Annie; brothers and sisters-in-law Howard (Grace) Marquardt, Dwayne (Hope) Marquardt, and Wallace Marquardt; sisters Joyce VanEyll and Carlene Latzke; brothers-in-law Martin Luebke and Bernie Vanderlinde; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Ellen (Garland) Johnson.

Willie is survived by her five children: Judy (Larry)Palmer, Patrice (George) Wolanin, Kathy (John) Barker, Mike (Lisa) Frisbie, and Matt (Shari) Frisbie. Willie was adored by her 14 grandchildren and 20great-grandchildren: Shannon Palmer (Paul Ford) and Edie Mae; Jessica (Richie)Cedeno and Victor; Kate Palmer (Patrick Hutchison); Nathan Wolanin (Samantha Wendt); Luke (Michaela) Wolanin and Gabe, Aveline, Jaiden, Oliva and Zoya; Amy(Chris) Smith and Marshall and Cooper; Josh Barker and Alex, Evan, Haley, Brent, and Trinity; Ken Barker (Nicole Edwards) and Geron, Brian and Adelaide; Jacob Frisbie; Zach Frisbie; Macey Frisbie and Tatum; Annie Frisbie (Dhru Patel); Karina Frisbie and Julian and Walter; and Elise Frisbie. She is also survived by her sisters and brothers-in-law Donnie VanEyll, Bev (Bob) Drew, Darlene Luebke, Sharon Vanderlinde, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

Willie’s memorial service will be officiated by Pastor Phil Wold at Trinity Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, at 10:00 on Saturday, March 16, followed by a luncheon reception. A graveside service will be held the next day at 2:00 on Sunday, March 17 at Meadow Creek Cemetery near McAllister, Montana.


Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Sheridan County Senior Center, or Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation (with memo to SMH Hospice), all of Sheridan, Wyoming.

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March 16, 2024
Start Time:
10:00 AM
A Celebration of life will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday March 16, 2024 at 10:00 AM. Pastor Phil Wold will be officiating. A reception will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church immediately after the service.


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